Journal December 2022

They say change is the only constant. Adapting attitudes and behaviour to changing circumstances, while realising everything is an expression of the same unknowable whole-ness is one of the keys in finding well-being in life. Through gracefully accepting in peace whatever appears, happens or just is. And moving from there with loving kindness and respect. The continuous adaptation of our attitude and our behaviour to whatever is, is how we try to live in our daily life in the Asharum Nijar. From shifting tasks and different needs from different guests, to adapting to new insights and impulses and moving with the seasons; with our best efforts we attempt to create the best possible experience for our surroundings and ourselves.

Living in the Asharum enables us to focus on living life while realising our transcendental nature as human beings, being supported by the togetherness with likeminded people and with a lessened distraction from the demands of modern day society, which only seems to affirm the illusion of separation and reduces life to a materialistic event. We are grateful for a place like this to exist in our lives, enabling us to bring these words into practice. For sure, the practice is harder than writing the words. And a real-life experience creates a larger impact compared to reading some text. That is why we happily welcome everyone to come and experience this with us, even if it is just for a short time; a single spark can ignite a long-lasting fire.

The garden of the Asharum Nijar: Back to the Roots

With the current temperatures (16ºC day/ 10ºC night) we see many plants coming back to life, the ground is turning more green, the olives are creating new growth, while the figs slowly start to loose their leaves, the almonds are almost in their sleep and the loquats – nisperos (ES) or Japanse mispel (NL) – are already in bloom. The cycle of life and death has no start and no end, nature shows this very clearly.

The oranges bring bright colours to our garden and at the moment they are at their best; juicy, slightly sour and full of vitamins. Every day you can find some that fell off the tree during the night or after a storm, and every day we squeeze fresh juice; for our guests, for each other and for the workers. Seeing them grow from small fragrant flowers into those wonderful and healthy orange fruits, just by giving them water, attention and the occasional fertiliser is a beautiful process. If you think about it; it’s quite magical! Remembering this gift of life while consuming them in gratitude makes them taste even better.

The small tunnel tents we purchased to protect the little vegetable plants from the grasshoppers are doing their job. We tried out two different ones and while one is not so well equipped to deal with the local storms and rough winds, the other one has a more sturdy design and can be fixed to the ground with pins you normally use to fix a tent. We plan to buy one or two more of these ones to be able to grow more vegetables without having to worry about the baby plants being eaten by insects. An extra benefit of these miniature greenhouses is that they keep the humidity high and the night temperatures slightly higher than the surrounding, which helps baby plants to focus on root production.

More building and improving

The terraces in front of the new kitchen and the two new rooms have been tiled with similar tiles as we have in the kitchen. It gives a whole new feel standing on the terrace, and it is more incorporated with the buildings. In the garden the works on the paths and some wall restoration works are ongoing, a new big cactus moved here from Calamedina and we slowly start to think about which additional plants we would like to plant this season. With regards to that, we had a very inspiring Zoom meeting with Chris, our ecological expert. During the meeting we talked about how we can open up the compacted soil and we talked about plans on how to proceed with the creation of our small paradise, by encircling the newly planted trees with ground cover, shrubs and bushes.

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